Predictive analytics may be able to improve performance for Tech B2B but it isn’t new. There’s evidence of predictive analytics used during World War II to improve anti-aircraft artillery – 75 years ago. What is NEW is the idea that Marketing can improve the performance of demand creation by gaining insight to certain facts – facts suggesting that some companies and their buying teams have the INTENT to buy a product service like the one you sell. Knowing their intentions is a targeting method that leads to more sales.
INTENT is a sterile word that is synonymous with – DESIRE. Desire is important because it precedes ACTION or COMMITMENT. Think about the last time you had a burning desire for something: new golf clubs, new Manolos, a trip to Italy. When you have intent or a desire for something, your behavior changes. You want to get an idea of what it costs, how difficult it is to get, where to go to acquire it. If the FBI seized your tablet or smartphone, they could discover your desires – your intent.
Then what happens? A compelling event occurs – you win money, get a bonus, you wrap your driver around a tree in a fit of rage and the intent becomes ACTION – a commitment to acquire new golf clubs, buy the shoes or take the trip.
I admit that in Tech B2B the decisions may be more complex. Considerations include product variability, multiple decision makers, typically more choices and the representative risk for the buyer. Because of these considerations, identifying intent is more challenging but not impossible. The payoff is tangible: a more predictable and potentially richer pipeline and increased bookings. Here are a couple of ways to discover intent in your pipeline:
- In the marketing automation system, score the number of contacts and the roles of the contacts that all seem to be looking at your product or service – on your website. Score where the contacts are coming from (your emails, banner ads, search engines) – the more the better.
- Profile your wins and use logic to find comparable behaviors and facts in those profiles. For example – in 6 wins – the top buyers came to a demo at your tradeshow booth and in 4 wins they didn’t see a demo at the tradeshow but 8 members of the buying team all watched the video of the demo on your website. Use a service like HG DATA to find companies that look like your wins – companies that may be unknown to you.
- Take advantage of third-party services – like TechTarget’s Priority Engine. TechTarget, having millions of subscribers, is using a much greater sample size and identifying for you the companies and related contacts that are digitally demonstrating INTENT.
INTENT can make the difference between a “good” lead and the false positives that drive a wedge between marketing and sales. Using third-party data (bigger sample size and profiling) you can solve for the problem that you don’t have a lead for a company, but the company is actually in market demonstrating intent – or desire. Then marketing converts the desire to action – creating commitment. An important step closer to bookings. Want to learn more about creating desire – contact us.
Next week: Lead Scoring